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Apple claims that Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets (right) violate its patented design and technology found in its iPad (iPad 2, shown right).  (Source: Daily Mobile)

Apple also accuses Samsung's Galaxy S smart phone of ripping off its iPhone.  (Source: Sizzle Core)
Company says Samsung worked "slavishly" to duplicate its designs and infringe upon its IP

Details have been released about a suit Apple, Inc. (AAPL) filed against fellow gadget maker Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930) in South Korea's Seoul Central District Court.  The suit was filed on Wednesday, June 22 and claims that the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S copies the design of the iPhone 3G.

The lawsuit comes after comments by company officials who accused the gadget maker of "slavishly" imitating the iPhone.

Samsung will definitely have the home court advantage in the case.  It is one of South Korea's largest conglomerates, accounting for about a fifth of the nation's exports.  Samsung Electronics, one of the Group's many subsidiaries, is the world's largest electronics company by sales.  It's expected to soon pass Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) to become the world's largest phonemaker.

The suit follows an April 15 complaint filed in U.S. federal court against Samsung.  The complaint alleges that the Galaxy family of devices that include the Galaxy S smartphone models and Galaxy Tab tablet models violate a number of Apple patents.  

Among them, Apple says the devices infringe on its touch screen user gestures patents, including selecting, scrolling, pinching and zooming. It also claims to have invented a "flat black face", which is among the three design patents Samsung is accused of violating.

Samsung had petitioned the court to force Apple to turn over prototypes of its future iPads and iPhones to show differences or similarities between the two companies designs.  Samsung lost that motion on June 22 (Wednesday).

Samsung has filed four counter-suits against Apple in Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Japan, Mannheim, Germany and the U.S., claiming Apple violate ten of its patents.  

Ironically the pair were formerly quite close.  In fact Samsung Electronics has designed Apple's last several iPhone/iPad processors, with the help of contractors like Intrinsity.  Samsung was also among the companies that was rumored to be a possible partner for Apple's potential upcoming LCD television display launch.  Apple also uses Samsung memory chips in several of its devices.

The pairs' relationship, much like that of Apple and Google Inc. (GOOG), deteriorated as both companies accelerated their smartphone and tablet plans.  Currently Samsung is beating Apple in phone sales, though some of its phones are traditional handsets.  Overall Google's Android OS hardware partners -- like Samsung -- are outselling the iPhone over two-to-one, according to recent studies.

As it can't outsell Android, Apple appears resigned to try to out-sue the rival.  The company's efforts were dealt a setback when a judge in another case -- a suit against, Inc. (AMZN) over its "Appstore for Android" -- said that she was preparing to dismiss a major motion in that case.

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By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:28:55 AM , Rating: 4
It's a phone and/or tablet. The design is set by the intended use of the device.


...because, you know, the iPad doesn't share *any* design characteristics with the tablets that came before. Nope. Totally different. LALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU!

RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 11:34:23 AM , Rating: 4
It also claims to have invented a "flat black face", which is among the three design patents Samsung is accused of violating.

This is the most absurd thing I have ever read. Invented a flat black face?? They cannot be serious!

How did our patent system allow such absurdity that someone can patent a shape and color on a device!?

RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:41:07 AM , Rating: 5
Because our patent system is retarded. But you knew that already.

RE: >.<
By Flunk on 6/24/2011 11:55:18 AM , Rating: 3
Ah, but you see. They are suing in Korea, where they don't have a snowball's chance in hell.

RE: >.<
By MrTeal on 6/24/2011 11:41:16 AM , Rating: 5
Really. I think Gutenberg probably has a flat black leather-bound bible that would disagree with this "patent".

RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:47:04 AM , Rating: 4
Not a proper comparison, obviously. Gutenberg probably figured out how to render Flash...

RE: >.<
By MozeeToby on 6/24/2011 12:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
You see, Apple's patent says "on a computer". Totally different.

RE: >.<
RE: >.<
By MrTeal on 6/24/2011 11:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's complete unrelated, it has nothing to do with Apple's patent.

It's not black.

RE: >.<
By GulWestfale on 6/24/2011 12:09:11 PM , Rating: 4
true, and it also has more features. its the distinct lack thereof that apple is trying to patent... that gives me an idea, i should patent a rectangular piece of cardboard. paint it white, call it the iboard, and sell it to appletards for $399, or $499 with 3G. you won't be able to use it as a computer, and you sure as hell can't make phonecalls with it (despite the 3G!), but appletards will defend it from the ridicule of rational people to their last breaths!

RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/24/2011 1:24:55 PM , Rating: 4
Invented a flat black face?? They cannot be serious!
I seem to recall the LG Prada having a flat black face, and that was released about a year before the iPhone.

Companies like Apple should just fuck off.

RE: >.<
By cjohnson2136 on 6/24/2011 1:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's even on their wiki page that LG thinks Apple copied

RE: >.<
By cjohnson2136 on 6/24/2011 1:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
As I did more searching through that apparently Apple fans were saying it wasn't a big deal because there would always be black touchscreens phones. It seems like someone did the exact same thing as Apple and now Apple is calling a foul.

RE: >.<
By Solandri on 6/24/2011 1:55:26 PM , Rating: 4
By definition any screen has to a flat black face. When a screen displays white or colors, it lets through white or colored light. When it displays black, it shuts off that light, meaning you see just the screen. Hence the face of the screen has to be black.

This is why you have to watch movies in theaters in the dark. The screens have to be white to significantly reflect the projected light. But that makes for awful blacks. So you turn off the lights to lower the black level.

If the patent truly is for a flat black face, it has to rank as one of the stupidest patents ever awarded. It'd be like patenting a flat surface for walking on.

RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
What would IBM have to say about that and their Thinkpad line? Everything about that laptop is flat black and would like to smash it into the face of any Apple Fanboy that says otherwise... and the Thinkpad would come out unscathed.

RE: >.<
By jamesjwb on 6/25/2011 10:12:09 AM , Rating: 5
Can we all group together, each put £1 in a Paypal account so that I can fund the purchase of a whole fish, a flight to the USA and a cab to Steve Jobs house, then repeatedly slap him in the face with said fish while shouting "am i holding this fish wrong?", all the while recording it on a Galaxy S, then put it on itunes and sell it for 99p?

Pretty sure I could give you all a 1000% ROI...

RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/27/2011 11:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
Companies like Apple: Monster Cable and Bose.

All 3 are predatory in that they prey on the gullible and un/misinformed, spreading their own propaganda that their wildly overpriced products are magically better than all the others.

Apple/Monster Cable/Bose - The Unholy Trinity.

RE: >.<
By Pirks on 6/27/11, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 4:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
*looks at IBM Thinkpad T60, Droid 1, HTC Thunderbolt, Blackberry Storm, Palm TX, Cowon D2*

What do they mean by flat black face? It sounds incredibly vague.

RE: >.<
By VahnTitrio on 6/24/2011 11:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Patent lawsuits are getting ridiculous. The only time a shape should be patentable is if it is a unique ergonomic design. Color should never be patentable.

RE: >.<
By Gondor on 6/24/2011 12:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
I hope this ends up the way Nokia case did, with fruity company getting slapped and forced to pay a handsome sum once again. They can afford it too with all those profits pouring in from clueless let's-hop-on-the-current-fad-bandwagon customers.

RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 3:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote: Nokia could go after Android handset makers with the same patents where cash reserves are seriously lacking.

Right, because, you know, iPhone is totally blowing the doors off of Android, which isn't selling *at all*.

Oh wait...

RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia had to sue Apple to get Apple to play ball in the first place. Everyone just paid the license from what I've read/ heard.

RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/25/2011 3:52:39 AM , Rating: 1
I don't hold shares in any tech company, but if I were an Apple shareholder, I would probably view this outcome favorably. Nokia emerges victorious, but this is a sweet defeat for Apple because its competitors -- especially those building Android-based devices -- will also have to pay Nokia, and most if not all of them will likely have to pay more on a per-unit basis because they don't bring as much intellectual property to the table as Apple definitely did. So from a competitive point of view, I don't think Apple loses much.

From the excellent FOSS Patents blog. Worth a read like all his articles.

RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/26/2011 4:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
That article doesn't take into consideration that many of those manufacturers may already licensees of Nokia's patents (after all, many of them have been in the game for almost as long as Nokia), and have been paying their way long before Apple stomped in and thought they didn't have to.

What you need to remember is companies like Nokia have been in the mobile phone business for over 20 years, and in that time, have invested over $160bn in R&D, and have accustomed a wealth of IP. Companies like Apple think they can enter such a mature market and have their own way, with no consideration for the hard work of others.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's more of this to come.

RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/26/2011 6:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
And why not? Business is not charity. Previous hard work counts for nothing if you drop the ball.
It does when it's licensed and Apple completely disregard it. Why shouldn't Nokia protect what they spent their hard work, time and money developing, for companies like Apple to waltz in and use technologies that are not theirs, and not have a care in the world? Whether Nokia have dropped the ball or not, they are still a company. The technology is still theirs. So because they are not as successful as Apple, their patents are of less importance? What an elitist attitude to have, Tony. Well, I suppose I'm not really surprised. Elitism comes with the culture of being an Apple fanatic.

Business might not be charity, but it has rules and regulations it must abide by.

But when it's Apple on the receiving end, there's lawsuits up the ass. Even for something as frivilous as a flat black surface. Now why shouldn't Nokia protect the technology they worked hard, and spent ludicrous amounts of money to develop, but Apple be allowed to patent something that bears no R&D, hard work, originality, and has masses of prior art?

RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/26/11, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Pirks on 6/26/2011 11:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
stranger things have happened
Yeah, like this one for instance: - oops, Tony's famous "RIM coffin" looks more and more stupid every day, muahahaha

RE: >.<
By Belard on 6/24/2011 4:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this is so stupid.

The form-factor is designed by its intended use. How come the hub-cap / MAG companies aren't suing each other because they all have round wheels?

How about the Can of Peas from DeMonte has the same shape and size as a can of peas from Green Giant?!

Black flat face? Like what phones have had long before the iPhone?

How else would someone make a tablet?

RE: >.<
By redbone75 on 6/25/2011 8:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
I love how Apple is trying to sue HTC when HTC's designs, as far back as the 8125 (including the 8525 and 8925) have trended to larger screens with minimal buttons at the bottom. Nothing "revolutionary" about the iphone's design, more an evolution of design trend. Apple did, however, turn the industry on its ear with the way they implemented touch controls.

Before you accuse, think about it...
By Commodus on 6/24/2011 1:00:53 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, a few of the claims (Galaxy Tab look and feel) are a bit of a stretch. The lawsuits are as much about trying to quash an Android competitor as they are about what Apple says.

However, there is absolutely, positively no question that Samsung's mission with the Galaxy S and S II was to copy Apple. The international version (like that seen in the photo) has an iPhone-like home button that you basically don't see on other Android phones. The icons are almost literal clones of Apple's, changed just enough to be slightly different.

Even in the US, Verizon reps (there are multiple instances of this) told people looking for the iPhone (before 2011) that they should get a Samsung Fascinate because it looks "just like the iPhone."

The Galaxy S line is pretty competent, but that doesn't mean it wasn't designed to capitalize on someone else's success.

RE: Before you accuse, think about it...
By Solandri on 6/24/2011 2:06:06 PM , Rating: 3
The icons are almost literal clones of Apple's, changed just enough to be slightly different.

I covered this when the lawsuit was first filed. I have a Galaxy S phone. I had never used nor taken a close look at the iPhone's icons up to that point. You claim Samsung's icons are "almost literal clones" of Apple's, yet I could only correctly name two iPhone icons - the phone and clock, which were universal symbols long before the iPhone.

By Commodus on 6/24/2011 4:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's in design choices that Samsung clearly didn't have to make that are eerily similar to the iPhone's. TIMN had a great side-by-side comparison (though the messaging icon is Google's, not Samsung's):

There are universal symbols for icons, but in many cases, Samsung didn't have to follow Apple's interpretation of those symbols so closely. Not to mention that TouchWiz on the Galaxy S line was, let's face it, designed to mimic the iPhone (four static bottom icons, similar side-swipe app grids, and the like).

By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
except you had to pull up the apps list screen to get to that grid of icons whereas the grid is on Apple's home screen. Also I've had plenty of phones before the iPhone 1 came out that had a grid of icons that were similar albeit with a more colorful background.

By fteoath64 on 6/25/2011 5:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
"no question that Samsung's mission with the Galaxy S and S II was to copy Apple".
True, but when they are doing it legally, then no one can touch them. It is a legal case after all and will be resolved by legal means, not hear-say, not by feeling, not by opinion etc.

Hate apple
By Swampthing on 6/24/2011 12:23:36 PM , Rating: 5
Wish someone would bury apple. I'm so tired of their ridiculous products and their stupid lawsuits. Even more tired of their disgusting zealot user base.

RE: Hate apple
By Commodus on 6/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Hate apple
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Ever since Apple launched a stupid them vs. everyone else campaign based on half truths and flat out lies that many have felt justified in slamming Apple.

By MADAOO7 on 6/24/2011 8:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
As it can't outsell Android, Apple appears resigned to try to out-sue the rival.

So much for leaving out your bias.

RE: Bias
By lukarak on 6/26/2011 12:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
That android vs apple marketshare is totally incomparable. What would be interesting to compare is the number of phones they sell in the price range both are present in.

Apple trying to get more media attention...
By fteoath64 on 6/25/2011 2:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
"officials who accused the gadget maker of "slavishly" imitating the iPhone.". This is NOT illegal besides Samsung can argue that their handsets/tablets has their name clearly marked on the top front of the device while Apple devices are devoid of name or markings in front!.
This is a very strong legal argument with regards to identification of the device concerned!. Imagine the argument of SamSung lawyer " Look our product has clearly marked name in front of the device, so unless your are illiterate or blind, you CANNOT possibly mistaken this as a competing device. It is clearly a SamSung device.

(For once, Apple's lawyers really looked like complete idiots and the judge twiddling his thumbs looking at the ceiling. )

By robinthakur on 6/27/2011 6:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but people who don't know better and don't follow technology (slavishly) might think it was a brand of 'iPhone' which they have seen advertised, then get very disappointed when they realise they have been duped and they can't download apps etc from the Appstore. This sounds ridiculous, but it does happen more than you think where phone sales people see the opportunity to make a sale and take advantage of people without explaining what the difference is. I think Samsung did very obviously copy the look and feel o the iPhone 3G then the 4 and I'm not the only person I know who has seen an advert for a Galaxy S, done a double take and then worked out that it isn't actually an iPhone.

By xDrift0rx on 6/24/2011 12:01:20 PM , Rating: 3
I should make my own car and then sue anyone who who uses a steering wheel that is round because it mimic my patented design. Or sue anyone who has wheels with 5 spokes because I have a patent.

Or just maybe I'll create a patent and wait for someone to come out with my idea and then sue the crap out of them when they become successful.

Ah....glad I'm an American!

My neighbor
By WayneCoffee on 6/24/2011 12:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just gave birth to a baby.
The baby has 2 eyes, 2 ears, one nose, one mouth, 2 arms, and 2 legs. Wait a minute, I have these too! I am going to sue her!

Nature rep
By snikt on 6/24/2011 2:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
As a representative of Nature, I'd like to bring a lawsuit of my own against Apple for using the name and likeness of the fruit 'apple' in all their products, business dealings, etc.

A flat back - genius!
By BugblatterIII on 6/24/2011 3:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
That would totally stop it rocking when I put it on a table!

And as with many genius idea it seems obvious in hindsight.

Apple truly are patenting!

Can't innovate, then litigate!
By jnemesh on 6/24/2011 7:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like litigation is Apple's only defense now that real competition is arriving! If they had any cajones at all, they would sue Google themselves...but they know they cant win that one, so they go after the manufacturers. It will be interesting to see things play out, Samsung has a LOT of cash to burn defending their products!

Rotten Apple
By Frostburn on 6/25/2011 8:12:46 AM , Rating: 2
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Guess he doesn't wear suits, he files lawsuits. Mah God, Steve's so bright, he's so different, and Apple's products are so distinct...

Like their products aren't "wearing" the suits of this industry... Basically they're sending a message to the market saying: "You either dress up an Apple suit (iPhone, iPad, iS#it and crap) or you're dressing casually, you're vulgar, and any attempt for you feel like you're "dressing" up to our standards is gonna be considered a patent infringement!"

I don't know about any of you, but iLike diversity, and iDislike having the same product as everyone else, it's not by chance that past predictions of uniformity, and standardisation utterly failed. And as many have predicted, that will be the downfall of Apple, since they are bound to work in the exact same way, restricted by their own design limitations, they can't meet the needs of everyone, however, they are great at serving the needs of a few. At best, that's how it's going to stay, they can only grow so far, their design can only be simplified so far, but there are no limitations to what people come to expect in the future, when that fails, Apple goes down.

Or maybe I'm just a designer who's sick of people thinking they have to own an apple product to be a designer, or sick of attending master's with everyone owning a MacBook Pro including the teacher with the only exception being myself with my loyal ASUS G73JH which at the time saved me 500€ over an under performing MacBook Pro... Okay Okay I'll stop... I hate Apple, and I'm sad that Apple won't be gone in my lifespan.

By sprockkets on 6/24/2011 4:04:18 PM , Rating: 1
This is Mr. Steve Jobs, Mr. I misquoted Samsung with the "quite small" sales of the galaxy tab.

So, what do you want out of this? To make Samsung your bitch? To bury the 500 galaxy tabs that sold?

Didn't sell a billion ipads because of this?

If you are an apple shareholder how could you let it waste so much money on pointless lawsuits?

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